Campus Coordinator

Christopher Barzak
237 DeBartolo Hall
(330) 941-16553
cmbarzak@ysu.edu

NEOMFA Director

Steve Reese
214 DeBartolo Hall
(330) 941-1650
screese@ysu.edu

Program Description

The Master of Fine Arts program at Youngstown State University is part of the Northeast Ohio Universities Master of Fine Arts (NEOMFA) in Creative Writing. The NEOMFA is a mul­tidisciplinary, interdepartmental, and interinstitutional program that provides opportunities for students to pursue the terminal degree in creative writing. The NEOMFA draws its faculty from departments at Youngstown State University, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, and The University of Akron.

This program offers workshops in poetry writing, fiction writing, creative nonfiction writing, and playwriting, as well as courses in literature, literary craft and theory, and professional writing and editing. The M.F.A. prepares graduates to pursue opportunities in arts management; in many areas of communication, publicity, and marketing; and in teaching creative writing, literature, and expository writing. Graduates of the program are ready to contribute to the literary life of the nation and the cultural life of the community. The program requires 48 semester hours of coursework.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the minimum College of Graduate Studies admissions require­ments, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and a substantive portfolio of creative work that includes either 15 to 20 pages of poetry or 30 pages of fiction, creative nonfiction, or  playwriting. All portfolios must include at least one finished work. All items in the portfolio should be double-spaced. The letters of recommendation should come from individuals familiar with the applicant’s academic or pro­fessional background. The letters should include an assessment of the applicant’s current work quality and ability to successfully complete graduate training. Application to the M.F.A. program authorizes staff members at participating institutions to have access to all student academic re­cords and application materials.

The NEOMFA program accepts students for fall admission only.

Advising

All students should have their schedules approved by a graduate faculty advisor every semes­ter. After initial enrollment in the program, the student and his or her advisor will establish a coursework plan including alternate course selections. An advisor may be chosen from the faculty of any consortium school.

Writer in the Community Certificate

The certificate option gives writers a background in community engagement that would multiply the availability of such avenues. The Certificate allows students who wish to pursue a more "practical" option while they are focusing on their creative writing. In a climate where the engagement between academia and community is more and more highly valued, the NEOMF A believes this is an ideal time to introduce this Certificate option into the program. The NEOMFA is already a unique program in being a consortium; the Certificate would only add to its distinctive character and make it more attractive to potential students.

Graduate Faculty

Christopher Barzak, M.F.A., Professor
Fiction writing; fiction; contemporary British and American literature

Philip Sean Brady, Ph.D., Professor
Modern Irish literature; creative writing; modern world literature

Steven Reese, Ph.D., Professor
Twentieth-century British literature; creative writing

All M.F.A. students must complete 48 semester hours in graduate-level courses. There are six areas of coursework in the M.F.A.: 

COURSETITLES.H.
Writing Workshops15
Craft and Theory courses9
Literatures courses6
Internship3
Electives9
Thesis6
Total Semester Hours48

The thesis must be sub­mitted according to the general requirements established by the College of Graduate Studies. The student is required to defend the thesis in an oral presentation before a committee of graduate faculty from a minimum of two consortium schools.

Writing in the Community Certificate

Course requirement for obtaining the certificate would be 4 classes, 12 credit hours, described below:

1.    Teaching Creative Writing in the Community.
This course will prepare students to apply their knowledge of creative writing and participate in a community-based teaching residency.
2.    Writing in the Community Internship.
For the practicum experience students will be placed in the community to teach creative writing for at least one contact hour per week for ten to fifteen weeks in a setting agreed upon by the students and the advisor.
3.    Writing in the Community Paper.
This is the only new course required by the Certificate (see attached Request for Graduate Curriculum Action). The culminating experience of the Writer in the Community Certificate is the Certificate Paper. The paper is to be a high quality, publishable paper of 20 to 25 pages and draw on practicum experience, research, and developed pedagogy of teaching writing in the community. Regular consultation with the advisor is required.
4.    Professional Writing Elective.
Students select a professional writing course, to be approved by an advisor, to further expand the connection between creative writing and organizational writing. At YSU, such courses would include the following: ENGL 6943, 6949,6953

Learning Outcomes

Students will create a high quality publishable work of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, play writing, and literary translation

Students will be able to critique literary works in a workshop environment

Students will have knowledge of a wide range of theories and practices of creative writing and the creative process

Students will have hands-on experiences in real-world writing and writing-related situations such as art agencies, public schools, and community centers

ENGL 6900    Methods of Literary Research    3 s.h.

Basic concepts and methods of literary research and analysis.

ENGL 6901    Methods of Composition Research    3 s.h.

Theories and methods of composition research; emphasis on strategies for conducting, analyzing, and writing about classroom and workplace studies.

ENGL 6902    Literary Thought    3 s.h.

May focus on particular theoretical approaches or provide an overview of literary criticism. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6906    Teaching of Literature    3 s.h.

Problems, issues, practices, and research that affect the teaching of literature at various grade levels and in college courses.

ENGL 6907    Teaching of Writing    3 s.h.

Problems, issues, practices, and research that affect the teaching of writing at various grade levels and in college courses.

ENGL 6911    The Medieval World    3 s.h.

Study of selected literary works reflecting medieval thought and culture. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6912    Sixteenth- and 17th-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Nondramatic literature of the British Renaissance. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6913    Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama    3 s.h.

Varying emphases on the dramatic works of Shakespeare and/or his contemporaries. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6914    Restoration and 18th-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6915    Early American Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama from the colonial period up to the early 19th century examined in their historical and cultural contexts. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6916    Nineteenth-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6917    Nineteenth-Century American Studies    3 s.h.

Examines 19th-century American literature and culture through particular themes, genres, styles, periods, and/or figures. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6918    Studies in Children's Literature    3 s.h.

Contemporary children's literature. Emphasis may be on development, trends, critical standards, cultural context, classroom selection and use. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6919    Studies in Young Adult Literature    3 s.h.

Contemporary young adult literature. Emphasis may be on development, trends, critical standards, cultural context, classroom selection and use. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6920    Twentieth-Century British Studies    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6922    Twentieth-Century American    3 s.h.

Studies. Examines works in relation to the history and social and cultural developments of the period. Nonliterary texts may be included, such as film, visual arts, and music. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6923    Working Class Literature    3 s.h.

A study of working-class literature, culture, and artistic production, with emphasis on the literary history, the material conditions, and the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation in the works of literature by and about the working class.

ENGL 6927    Historical Survey of Literature for Young People    3 s.h.

Survey of historical developments from the 18th through mid-20th centuries in British and American literature for young people.

ENGL 6935    Studies in Romanticism    3 s.h.

Prose, poetry, and/or drama of the period studied in historical and cultural context and from various critical perspectives. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6943    Technical Communication    3 s.h.

In-depth discussion of audience, format, document design, and corporate structure. Focus on refining skills and providing theoretical support for practical applications.
Prereq.: ENGL 3743 Professional and Technical Communication and ENGL 4849 Professional and Technical Editing or ENGL 6949.

ENGL 6944    Document Design and Production    3 s.h.

Application of computer software and hardware to design and produce professional/technical documents.

ENGL 6945    Theory of Professional and Technical Communication    3 s.h.

Examines theory and research in professional and technical communication with emphasis on the application of theoretical concepts and empirical findings to practical problems in the field. Introduces students to theories and research methods through reading in current literature and through class research projects.

ENGL 6946    Historical Editing    3 s.h.

Project-based approach to theoretical and practical aspects of editing historical and literary documents for both print and digital contexts. Topics include document selection, transcription, verification, and annotation, as well as the implications for teaching and learning using traditional print and electronic archives and texts.
Cross-listed: HIST 6946.

ENGL 6949    Professional and Technical Editing    3 s.h.

A study of the skills needed to make appropriate changes in the content, grammar, mechanics, style, format, and organization of manuscripts for scholarly, trade, journalistic, and other professional publications. The course deals with stages in the publishing process, hard-copy versus online editing, mechanical and substantive editing, and the use of house and press styles.

ENGL 6950    Sociolinguistics    3 s.h.

An investigation of the relationship between language and society. Includes discussion of dialects and standard languages, language planning, linguistic identity, multi- and bilingualism, class, gender, ethnicity, and social interaction.

ENGL 6951    Language Acquisition    3 s.h.

A study of research on the learning of first and second languages. Topics include developmental sequences, learner variables, critical periods and conditions for learning, and the roles of input and interaction. The course is designed for those planning to teach languages.

ENGL 6952    Linguistics of Literacy    3 s.h.

An investigation of the linguistic, social, and cultural dimensions of literacy. The course covers theoretical frameworks of language and literacy, the relationship between speech and writing, cultural notions of literacy, and the acquisition of literacy in first and additional languages.

ENGL 6953    Publications Issues and Management    3 s.h.

Exploration of the issues involved in managing and producing professional publications, including publications in students' own fields. Focus on organizational, editorial, and authorial voice; editorial policies; audience analysis; and the processes by which publications are conceived, designed, and produced.

ENGL 6955    Advanced Linguistics    3 s.h.

In-depth study of selected issues in contemporary linguistic theory.

ENGL 6956    TESOL Methods    3 s.h.

Introduction to teaching English as a second language (ESL), including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Focus will be on using communicative methods with nonnative speakers.

ENGL 6957    TESOL Practicum    3 s.h.

Supervised teaching in an English as a second language (ESL) program. Additionally, weekly seminar attendance is required.

ENGL 6958    English Grammar    3 s.h.

Descriptions and analysis of English grammar structure.

ENGL 6960    Studies in Linguistics    3 s.h.

Examines a specific topic such as stylistics, semantics, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, TESOL, or computational linguistics. May be repeated twice with a different topic.

ENGL 6963    Perspectives in Multicultural Studies    3 s.h.

An advanced study of primary and secondary texts from the field of multicultural literature and multicultural education. The course will emphasize the formation of social identities, the intersections of race, class, and gender, relationships among dominant and nondominant subjects in U.S. and other global cultures. The course will pay special attention to the theory and application of multiculturalist paradigms to education, professional work, and graduate study. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6965    Studies in Film    3 s.h.

Analysis of motion pictures and their creators; topics may include classic and contemporary styles, genres, and methods of production, as well as film theory and criticism. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6966    Writing of Poetry    3 s.h.

Discussion and application of approaches, techniques, and forms involved in the writing of poetry. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6967    Writing of Prose    3 s.h.

Discussion and application of approaches, techniques, and forms involved in the writing of fiction and/or nonfiction. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6968    Studies in Literary Form    3 s.h.

Examines forms such as poetry, the novel, the short story, essay, biography, autobiography, or travel literature. Emphasis may be on definition, development, cultural context, figures, or themes. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6969    Writing the Youth Novel    3 s.h.

Discussion and application of approaches, techniques, and forms involved in the writing of novels.

ENGL 6974    English Education Workshop    1-3 s.h.

Intensive study and activity in a topic related to teaching English and the language arts. Does not count toward degree credit. Grading is S/U. May be repeated.

ENGL 6975    English Education Seminar    1-3 s.h.

Approaches to teaching English and the language arts. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6976    Studies in English Education    3 s.h.

Theories, issues, and/or criticism in the teaching of English. May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6989    Teaching Practicum    1-3 s.h.

Techniques and strategies for teaching college composition, including course design and classroom practice. Required of and limited to graduate assistants who are teaching in the English Department. First-year graduate assistants must register for three semester hours of Teaching Practicum in two successive semesters for a total of six semester hours. Does not count toward degree credit. Grading is S/U.

ENGL 6990    Special Topics    3 s.h.

May be repeated once.

ENGL 6991    Special Topics MFA    3 s.h.

Special topics in literature and creative writing for students in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in creative writing. May be repeated once.
Prereq.: Acceptance in the MFA program.

ENGL 6992    Professional Communication    3 s.h.

Focus on a selected topic in technical writing or professional communication (e.g., proposal writing, science writing, computer documentation, nonfiction prose). May be repeated once with a different topic.

ENGL 6993    Discourse Theory    3 s.h.

Examination and discussion of contemporary theories of discourse analysis, with some attention to the history and development of rhetorical theory.

ENGL 6997    English Internship    1-3 s.h.

Supervised work-and-learning experience in English under the direction of an English Department faculty member and an employee of a participating firm. Ten to 20 hours a week of student time are expected. Enrollment is contingent upon the availability of internships. Students are selected on the basis of personal qualifications, including GPA, courses taken, recommendations, and an interview. Either ENGL 6997 or ENGL 6998 may count toward the degree, not both.

ENGL 6998    Professional Writing Internship    1-3 s.h.

Supervised work-and-learning experience in professional communication under the direction of a University faculty member and an employee of a participating firm. Ten to 20 hours a week of student time are expected. Enrollment is contingent upon the availability of internships. Students are selected on the basis of personal qualifications, including GPA, courses taken, recommendations, and an interview. Either ENGL 6997 or ENGL 6998 may count toward the degree-not both.

ENGL 6999    Thesis    1-3 s.h.

Thesis.
Prereq.: Thesis proposal accepted by departmental committee.